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Living with Anxiety and Depression

It's always with me, like it's weaved into my shadow.

Anxiety, it makes me walk a narrow path. A path I fear, a path that terrifies me to my core. I didn't always walk this path. I used to be social, I used to love talking to new people, I used to love being in groups. I miss those days.

I liked being in groups because I was afraid of being alone. Afraid of being forgotten, but one day my fear of other people's opinions became greater than that. It became so great that I couldn't make friends.

Anxiety and Depression are not a good combination. There are people who only have Anxiety or Depression, then there are people who go through the same thing as me, but each person is different. There are the ones who don't go through this. I'm extremely glad that they don't because I wouldn't wish this on my greatest enemy. The amount of suffering I go through on a daily basis takes so much out of me. Some days all I can do is sit in fear because I don't know if I'll have a panic attack. I don't go places because there are so many people. I suffered through school to make my parents proud, but all it did was make my life worse. Everyone is strong in their own way, and if everyone had the same life, most wouldn't survive.

It's like being scared but tired at the same time. Wanting to be alone, but terrified of being lonely. Wanting to hangout with friends, but having this overwhelming fear of people's opinions—and also not having the motivation to go anywhere.

Not being able to answer the phone, not being able to order food at a restaurant, not wanting to go into stores. I panic in groups of people. I can't eat in public because I have this intense feeling that they're all staring at me even though they're not. When people ask me questions I don't want to answer, afraid they won't like it. I smile a lot when I meet new people, but on the inside, I'm trying to calm myself down.

I put everyone's feeling before my own, and I'm slowly learning that I need to come first. There is nothing wrong with me being like this. One day I will overcome these stressful feelings and be able to smile a real smile.

I'll be able to be happy, and when I do, I'll realize that this experience will just make me so much stronger.

Dear anyone going this,

I want you to know, I understand. I know we're not the same, we live different lives. I don't know what you're going through, I only know what I'm going through, but that doesn't mean I don't understand. People who don't go through this can understand too.

I fear that I'm a burden on everyone, including my family; most of the time, they don't seem to care about me, but I live through it. Not for them, I live through it for me. We don't know what's on the other side. Who's waiting to guide us? If there is even anything there. If we move on to another life after this one. I want to live this life to the fullest before I move on. I want to say I accomplished my goals. I want to make myself proud.

One day I want to look back and say, "I survived," not "I died."

Remember this, you are special. Every single one of you. Whether you have anxiety, depression, or anything else, you are special. Let that sink in because I hope it stays with you until one day you also look back and say, "I survived."

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